Delay to Eurasian chemical regulation

The long drawn-out adoption of the Russia-led Eurasian Union’s package of chemical safety regulations has again been delayed. After the meeting of the Council of the European Economic Commission (EEC), a governing body of the Union, in mid-October of 2015, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan had agreed to submit the latest draft of the proposals to the EEC for approval within two months. However, Sergeij Cyplenkov, a communications specialist at the Commission, told Chemical Watch: “The package consisting of three technical regulations – on the safety of paints and lacquers, synthetic detergents and safety of chemical products – has not been adopted yet and the draft is not on the Eurasian Economic Commission’s agenda in the nearest sittings.” As a result, the Council is not expected to discuss the subject before spring at the earliest. Comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan [the last two joined in 2015], it usually convenes once a month and its regulations are enacted throughout the Eurasian Union, encompassing the five former Soviet republics. Meanwhile, a source in Belarus’ Ministry of Economy said the procrastination is partly due to the tensions between Russia and the West. “The EEC chemical legislation draft is pretty much in line with the respective EU chemical legislation. Amid the ongoing economic sanctions, Russia does not want to see any Europeanisation of any of its legislation, including technical regulations on chemical safety,” the source said. In November, Mr Cyplenkov said the chances of them being passed by the EEC “looked good”, after Russia, seeking a compromise, had given in to Kazakhstan on some key issues related to the adoption of the package. The chemical products regulation includes provisions for the management of chemicals, such as companies’ obligation to register their substances, to classify them and provide precautionary labels in accordance with the UN Globally Harmonised System (GHS).

Chemical Watch, 19 January 2016 ; ;